Technology and Science

BlackBerry Classic review: Better late than never

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The new BlackBerry Classic is a perfectly good device but it hardly matters any more, says Matt Warman

When BlackBerry relaunched itself in January 2013, the world was willing it to survive – today in December 2014, the company finally unveiled the phone that might have saved it. With just 0.7 per cent of the market now using the platform, it hardly matters. Behind Windows Phone and not even in sight of Apple or Google, this is a device aimed primarily at IT departments that have been too lazy to update their strategy for the last five years, and an ever smaller band of loyalists.

The BlackBerry Classic is a conspicuous last throw of the dice – is Classic 2 really plausible? This is a phone that feels fabulously solid in the hand, that offers the day-plus battery life beloved of BlackBerry’s devotees, and does upgrade the experience slightly with new apps and a touchscreen. But it’s the keyboard that the company’s remaining users really want, and fewer and fewer users now place that one feature above all others.

Design and keyboard

The new Classic is exactly what users would expect from a great BlackBerry – a protective metal frame, a solid but not quite too heavy construction and a keyboard whose ridged keys separated by guitar-style frets mean you somehow always know where your fingers are on the buttons. A textured back means it’s harder to drop a BlackBerry than an iPhone.

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